About 10 years ago, I got pulled over after whipping a U turn on a side street near Center and Teutonia. The cop asked where I worked and other likely illegal questions. Once I answered to his satisfaction, he warned that it wasn’t safe for me to be driving in “a bad neighborhood”. It was surprising to hear him say that – and yet not, as we were repeating a centuries old pattern. He was prioritizing a white woman’s life and comfort and disregarding an entire neighborhood.

Over the years, Ex Fabula has worked to address segregation, to talk about race, and to amplify underrepresented voices. However, I have at times allowed harm to be caused by prioritizing white comfort – even though Ex Fabula’s vision is a radically inclusive community that honors the dignity of all people.

Today, I vow to do better. Ex Fabula must become an explicitly anti-racist space, and a space that supports the liberation of all people who are oppressed. Personal stories are a powerful tool for reflecting learning, and we can and must put our egos aside so we can learn from past mistakes.

Today, I mourn for all the Black lives lost to police brutality, including George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade in recent days, but also many others locally over the years: Derek Williams, Sylville Smith, Dontre Hamilton, Frank Jude, and Ernest Lacy. Black Lives Matter. 

Today, I urge all white people and non-Black people of color to commit to ending anti-Blackness. Please join me and hold me accountable as I invest time and money in Black-led efforts for liberation, acknowledge and unlearn anti-Black racism, and dismantle the systems that harm Black and Brown people – both in my personal and professional life. If you don’t know where to start, I’ve listed just a few resources below.

I’d like to leave you with some wise words and the backstory. Maybe 3 years ago, I came across this poem which was supposedly written on the walls of a social center in Phoenix Arizona; no author was listed. Just now, while fact checking, I discovered that these are Micky ScottBey Jones’ (TW @iammickyjones) words that I have been sharing without proper credit. Yet another example – of the wisdom of Black women, and the work required to make things right.

Invitation to Brave Space
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
But
It will be our brave space together, 
and
We will work on it side by side. 

In solidarity,
megan

LOCAL ORGS & GROUPS

Local Black and Brown-led groups working for justice and liberation
African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable wisconsinvoices.org/aart/
Black Leaders Organizing for Communities secure.actblue.com/donate/blocbybloc
Leaders Igniting Transformation litmke.org/donate
Love on Black Women loveonblackwomen.com
Metcalfe Park Community Bridges kindest.com/donate/metcalfe-park-community-center
Ayuda Mutua Mke www.facebook.com/ayudamutuamke/
Maroon Calabash https://www.marooncalabash.com/donate
Wisconsin Black Historical Society http://www.wbhsm.org/

Antiracism education and training
YWCA Unlearning Racism https://www.ywcasew.org/what-we-do/racial-justice/
Ubuntu Research and Evaluation https://www.ubunturesearch.com/whatwedo
Nurturing Diversity Partners http://nurturingdiversity.us/
Standing Up for Racial Justice Milwaukee: https://www.facebook.com/groups/460812344093736/